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The Moller Skycar: Where Is It Today?

Almost two decades ago, Paul Moller revealed his ‘M400 Moller Skycar’ to the world.

The vehicle was a sort of strange creation, looking for all the world like a mix between an airplane, a car, and something you’d see on The Jetsons. It was Moller’s vision for the future: a flying car for everyone. 16 years later, and that same M400 model sits in a garage collecting dust.

What went wrong? Why couldn’t Moller come through with his promise? Every few years, the company released a new test video, a new breakthrough in engineering, a new feat of technological marvel, etc, but nothing with any real substance.

To the casual observer, it seemed like the company was really trying, and suffering the worst of luck. However, to the more practiced in the industry, it appeared that Moller didn’t actually have any plans to mass-produce the next-generation of transportation vehicle. Instead, Paul Moller’s dream was nothing more than an attention-grabbing money scheme.

Photograph

Image source: www.wikimedia.com

So which is it? Earlier this year, the company signed a $480 million dollar deal with Athena Technologies Inc. of California to bring their vehicle to the public by 2014. We’ve heard this song-and-dance before, unfortunately, so we’re taking this news with a grain of salt. Still, $480M is definitely not chump change, so perhaps there’s something to this after all.

Why should you care about the Moller Skycar?

Put simply, it’s one of the safest ways to travel. It’s got an advanced onboard computer that a child could operate. You simply plug in your destination and fly off, with its VTOL(Vertical Takeoff and Landing) system. The prototype version promised speeds up to 330mph, with a flight ceiling of 36,000 feet.

Each of its eight engines operate independently of the main system, in case any of them fail. The propellers are encased in a duct fan, to protect bystanders from the blades. The car was created to use any type of fuel, though early models used gasoline. This means it has the potential to run on a hybrid system, and perhaps electricity in future iterations.

Stay tuned for future updates on this potentially game-changing transportation vehicle.

 

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